There are those cynics and snobs who would say the Real Housewives are the lowest form of humanity. The enlightened among us laugh. They’ve obviously never met the Friends Of.
Though often mocked, Friends Of serve a valuable function in the Housewives ecosystem. Like the lowly plankton, they feed those creatures higher up on the food chain. They fill the gaps left by a weak cast in a bad season. And the best of them win places in our hearts with their pettiness, gossip-mongering, and pointless thirsty drama. Not all Friends of the Housewives are created equal. Hence: a ranking.
This ranking includes anyone who was officially designated Friend Of (sorry, Amanda Sanders), was never a main Housewife (#justicefordanielle), and is from an American franchise (there aren’t any foreign Friends Of worth knowing, with all due respect to “Lisa Tonkin” and “Chantelle Heskey” whatever those are).
Which of these tagline-free terrors will come out on top?
16. Jennifer Dalton (New Jersey)
One of many faceless plot devices brought on to spread inter-Gorga drama and then quietly exit through the back. The average Housewives fan does not know this person exists.
15. Jennifer Gilbert (New York City)
The Cindy Barshop of Friends Of, Jennifer allegedly appeared on RHONY’s legendary season three, where she was drowned by the insanity occurring around her and disappeared without a trace. They say her soul lives in the basement of Sonja’s townhouse even still.
14. Demetria McKinney (Atlanta)
Haterville is hopping with thirsty Lucy Ricardos trying to insinuate themselves into the show but utterly failing to make an impact (anyone remember Chuck and Mynique?). Demetria was one of these, a placid nobody only notable for her relationship with the Harry Dubin of Atlanta, Roger Bobb.
13. Rosie Pierri (New Jersey)
I know Cousin Rosie is beloved, but she’s one of the most nakedly needy people I’ve seen on these shows and it makes me uncomfortable. We’ll always have the time she threatened to cut Teresa’s tongue out of her head, though.
12. Danielle Gregorio (Orange County)
The myriad conspiracy theories about the woman, including gay rumours and a fabricated medical degree, were far more interesting than her actual time on the show.
11. Shamea Morton (Atlanta)
Shamea is perhaps better known as an unwitting victim of the season nine “Kandi is a lesbian rapist” saga than for anything she actually said or did.
10. Fernanda Rocha (Orange County)
Poor sweet gay Fernanda. We’ve all fallen one time or another for the siren lure of Tamra Judge.
9. Marisa Zanuck (Beverly Hills)
Marisa was only okay, but at least she wasn’t a dickless homo like her husband HA HA RIGHT? I’m just kidding, sweetie, I love you. Seriously, love him. But I would have sex with literally anyone else. HA HA HA IT’S A JOKE SWEETIE LIGHTEN UP! Love him.
8. Eden Sassoon (Beverly Hills)
Eden vibrates with a confused intensity that should have made her a good Friend Of but didn’t. Still, she was another body for Lisa Rinna’s pile, so I’m not complaining.
7. Marie Reyes (Dallas)
A wonderfully panicky sociopath — sort of in the vein of Lydia from late-era Breaking Bad, but replace the meth business with unsubstantiated carnie slander.
6. Sarah Winchester (Orange County)
I believe the best attacks are customized to the insecurities of their victims. Sarah picking a small piece of the sugar bow off Heather Dubrow’s cake was the absolute perfect way to get under her skin. I would start a GoFundMe to ensure Sarah Winchester’s presence at every party Heather Dubrow throws.
5. Marlo Hampton (Atlanta)
Still in the game six years after she made it rain in South Africa, what Marlo lacks in sensitivity to the LGBTQ community, she makes up for in longevity. There will always be demand for a nouveau riche nightmare with seven mugshots.
4. Faye Resnick (Beverly Hills)
The non-O.J. villain of The People v. O.J. Simpson who came to prominence selling out her dead best friend’s memory for 15 minutes and a quick buck, Faye has been a Friend of the Housewives since before there were Housewives.
3. Kim DePaola (New Jersey)
Kim D. is the Team Rocket of RHONJ, reliably popping up a few times a season to sow indiscriminate beady-eyed chaos. Kim is characterized by her desperation and utter lack of scruples, traits that distinguish the best Friends Of from the pretenders. Bonus points for being proprietor of the Posche Fashion Show, the final battleground for all RHONJ scraps.
2. Dana Wilkey (Beverly Hills)
For broad comedy, no Friend Of beats Dana “Pam” Wilkey. A messy pretender with $25,000 shades and an eight-month-old child fluent in Thai, Pam eventually succumbed to her own lavish lifestyle — she’s rocking an ankle bracelet after going down for fraud.
1. Kim Granatell (New Jersey)
Not a day goes by that I don’t pray for the return of queen desperado Kim G. to my screen. Kim is plainly evil with a mile-wide mean streak drowned in syrupy, sycophantic sweetness. If you’re ever having a down day, treat yourself to a YouTube K-hole of Kim G. trashing all of her former castmates in a desperate claw at relevance.